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Arch Microbiol. 2004 Oct;182(4):299-312. Epub 2004 Aug 3.

The glycosylated cell surface protein Rpf2, containing a resuscitation-promoting factor motif, is involved in intercellular communication of Corynebacterium glutamicum.

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Lehrstuhl für Genetik, Universität Bielefeld, Universitätsstrasse 25, Bielefeld, Germany.


The genome of Corynebacterium glutamicum ATCC 13032 contains two genes, rpf1 and rpf2, encoding proteins with similarities to the essential resuscitation-promoting factor (Rpf) of Micrococcus luteus. Both the Rpf1 (20.4 kDa) and Rpf2 (40.3 kDa) proteins share the so-called Rpf motif, a highly conserved protein domain of approximately 70 amino acids, which is also present in Rpf-like proteins of other gram-positive bacteria with a high G+C content of the chromosomal DNA. Purification of the C. glutamicum Rpf2 protein from concentrated supernatants, SDS-PAGE and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry identified modified Rpf2 variants with increased or reduced mobility when compared with the calculated size of Rpf2. A Western blot-based enzyme immunoassay demonstrated glycosylation of the Rpf2 variants with higher molecular masses. Galactose and mannose were identified as two components of the oligosaccharide portion of the Rpf2 glycoprotein by capillary gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. The Rpf2 protein was localized on the surface of C. glutamicum with the use of immuno-fluorescence microscopy. C. glutamicum strains with defined deletions in the rpf1 or rpf2 gene or simultaneous deletions in both rpf genes were constructed, indicating that the rpf genes are neither individually nor collectively essential for C. glutamicum. The C. glutamicum rpf double mutant displayed slower growth and a prolonged lag phase after transfer of long-stored cells into fresh medium. The addition of supernatant from exponentially growing cultures of the rpf double mutant, the wild type or C. glutamicum strains with increased expression of the rpf1 or rpf2 gene significantly reduced the lag phase of long-stored wild-type and rpf single mutant strains, but addition of purified His-tagged Rpf1 or Rpf2 did not. In contrast, the lag phase of the C. glutamicum rpf double mutant was not affected upon addition of these culture supernatants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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